Nawaz reaches Quetta as PML-N looks to forge alliances ahead of general elections

PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif (centre) with party’s President Shehbaz Sharif and Vice-Presient Maryam Nawaz as they landed in Quetta on November 14, 2023. — X/@pmln_org
  • PML-N seeking electoral alliance, seat adjustment with JUI-F, BAP.
  • Key politicians expected to join the party during Nawaz’s visit.
  • National Party, PKMAP representatives meet former premier.

As the parties go into electioneering mode, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif landed in Quetta on Tuesday.

The three-time prime minister, who returned to Pakistan on October 21 from a four-year self-imposed exile, has been leading the party’s election campaign and forging new alliances ahead of the upcoming general elections.

During his Quetta visit, Nawaz — accompanied by party President Shehbaz Sharif and Chief Organiser Maryam Nawaz — is expected to woo the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) to form an electoral alliance ahead of the February eight polls, sources said.

The parties, in case they reach an understanding, would then jointly contest the general elections in the province and will decide upon the chief minister “with a consensus”.

BAP’s Jam Kamal is likely to jump ship and join Nawaz on condition that he be made the chief minister, whereas the JUI-F has also put forward the name of Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri conditioning their support if he is made the province’s chief executive, the sources added.

The Nawaz-led PML-N delegation met with various stakeholders — including a BAP delegation comprising Nawabzada Khalid Magsi, Manzoor Kakar, and others.

The meeting was also attended by Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP) President Khalid Magsi, National Party’s Abdul Malik Baloch, and JUI-F’s provincial leadership.

Among others who are expected to meet Nawaz include Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, Balochistan Assembly Speaker Mir Jan Muhammad Khan Jamali, and others.

It should be noted that the PML-N and BAP have had a bitter past, as the party was founded in 2018 by political dissidents from Nawaz’s party as well as those from the PML-Q.

A day earlier, The News reported that notable political entities are expected to join the ranks of the PML-N with the party looking into possible seat adjustment with the BAP.

The development comes as earlier this month the PML-N and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) announced their electoral alliance to jointly contest the upcoming general elections in Sindh.

Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, while speaking to media in Mithi earlier in the day, took a jibe at the PML-N, urging the Nawaz-led party to “focus on Lahore”.

“I would suggest that he [Nawaz] should stay in Lahore and focus on its problems,” Bilawal said.

The PML-N ever since the dissolution of the national assembly in August, had been growing apart from their former ally PPP with the two being engaged in a scathing verbal showdown.

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